What Is Rohypnol (GHB), the Effects of and Help with Addiction
Rohypnol, the trade name for flunitrazepam, has been a concern for the last few years because of its abuse as a “date rape” drug. People may unknowingly be given the drug which, when mixed with alcohol, can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault. Also, Rohypnol can be lethal when mixed with alcohol and/or other depressants.
Rohypnol produces sedative-hypnotic effects including muscle relaxation and amnesia; it can also produce dependence. Rohypnol is not approved for use in the United States and its importation is banned. Illicit use of Rohypnol began in Europe in the 1970s and started appearing in the United States in the early 1990s, where it became known as “rophies,” “roofies,” “roach,” “rope,” and the “date rape” drug.
Another very similar drug is clonazepam, marketed in the U.S. as Klonopin and in Mexico as Rivotril. It is sometimes abused to enhance the effects of heroin and other opiates.
Since about 1990, GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) has been abused in the U.S. for euphoric, sedative, and anabolic (body-building) effects. GHB use associated with sexual assault has surpassed Rohypnol use associated with sexual assault. 1 Coma and seizures can occur following abuse of GHB and, when combined with methamphetamine, there appears to be an increased risk of seizure. Combining use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and difficulty breathing. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Because of concern about Rohypnol, GHB, and other similarly abused sedative-hypnotics, Congress passed the “Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act of 1996″ in October 1996. This legislation increased Federal penalties for use of any controlled substance to aid in sexual assault.
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